Not sure you are a Pantser? This means you are the writer that doesn’t make an outline before you write. And you continue writing until your mind tells you to stop. If you have followed this space for any time, you would be familiar with the terms flash fiction and freewrite.
A freewrite is when you write the down an idea–no outline, no expectation. This can be as short as a a paragraph, but a normally not longer than two pages.
Flash fiction is when you down and idea for the express purpose of developing that idea into a draft. This is different than a freewrite. How? It is written with the intent of developing into a short story or a longer story! Don’t despair over these things! These are tools as well! These tools are as important (or if not more important) than an outline! If anything it can work en tandem with your outline.
Work the tools that you have at your disposal!
Note: Depending on the topic, depending on the nature of what you are writing, you may actually need to do both, or one before another. Or one after the other. It is also okay for you to be a Pantser and then become an Outliner. It is also okay to be an Outliner who becomes a Pantser! Writing allows for vacillation and change! Be open to that! In being open, you will be able to better handle the creative obstacles that writing/book writing can bring.
Last week, we talked about the difference between the two types of writers: Outliners and Pantsers. Knowing which one you are helps immensely. Trust me.
But, let’s take Outliners first.
We all know what an outline is. All an outline is a map. It helps you to develop ideas before you write them out. These are used as reference points and there are a myriad of ways to construct one! If you are one that needs that reference point or anchor, use it!
If you construct your outline with some degree of flexibility, then you will be able to add to it when need be or when the story allows (or demands). The goal of an outline is to track your ideas to give you an idea to where you are going, and need to go next.
This is a power that many writers don’t tap into nearly enough. The fact that you are able to see what you want to write before you write it, this is a magic, dear one. Tap into it. But, don’t be afraid to adjust the course of it if you need to.
Vernon L. Coleman is an independent author represented by Stephanie A. Wynn! With writing being the independent, variant path that it is, Vernon came to his writing journey, in a unconventional way. In his words “No one knew I was doing it.” Vernon says when he has solitary feelings, he writes. He also goes on to say, “I have written many exhortations that are not in the book. Usually if a scripture is heavy on my mind, I write to elaborate on it. But I enjoy writing the poems too.”
Yet, in his writing journey, he keeps his faith at the forefront of his mind:
It has been an amazing journey because when I write under God’s inspiration, I am in awe. Awe because I knowHe is near, and He takes me out of myself in a way to write what he gives me. It’s amazing because it’s like each writing is an assignment or a lesson for me to learn first, and then others. There is no better feeling than to know God is using you for the promotion of his kingdom.
Vernon L. Coleman
When asking how he defines success as a writer, he says that it is measured by the impact on someone’s life. “Also, when people take the time out of their busy day to tell me how much they enjoyed it. I equate that with success.” When asked about future plans, Vernon wants to write a book, and perhaps one of those will be a children’s book.
Vernon L. Coleman can be found on Facebook (for now) and V. L. Coleman & Associates with plans for expansion. His current works are Father…They Know Not What They Do, and God’s Poetic Reach to a Lost and Dying World! These books can be purchased on these two websites: www.godspoeticreach.com or www.vernonlcoleman.com. They can also be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million.